Kraft TeleRobotics to provide
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
(WHOI) has contracted Kraft TeleRobotics to design and build a
custom engineered manipulator arm for their Hybrid Remotely
Operated Vehicle (HROV). With a depth capability of
11000 meters, HROV will be the first truly cost-effective
undersea vehicle system capable of performing meaningful
science in the most inaccessible regions on earth.
Man and machine have traveled to the very
bottom of the ocean, more than 36,000 feet beneath the
surface, only a few times. Once in 1960 when Jacques
Piccard dove to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the U.S.
Navy submersible Trieste, a remarkable feat, and some 35 years
later when the Japanese deep diving ROV “Kaiko” successfully
completed several dives to the ocean’s greatest depth.
Both events represent a great technological achievement,
however, in each case the cost was prohibitive, equating to
millions of dollars per visit. HROV will change that
through the implementation of advanced materials technology
and state-of-the-art sub sea robotics. For the very
first time ocean scientists will have an affordable means to
explore the ocean’s abyss.
HROV will be called upon to perform a wide
variety of tasks using it’s on board manipulator arm. Among
the most demanding of these tasks will be the collecting of
biological, geological and fluid samples, all of which must be
accomplished with the utmost of efficiency. When
operating at 11000 meters, vehicle payload is at a premium,
and HROV must complete its missions within the energy limits
of its on-board battery pack. In meeting these
challenges, Kraft TeleRobotics will design and fabricate a
light weight, highly efficient manipulator, capable of
completing demanding manipulative tasks while consuming as
little power as possible.
a light weight efficient design is mandatory, the speed with
which the manipulator arm will be able to complete specific
tasks will ultimately play the largest role in reducing
overall power consumption. Kraft manipulator arms have
found wide spread use within the ocean sciences community and
gained an earned reputation for delivering exceptional
productivity at the sea floor. A highly intuitive method
of control, better kinematics, and superior responsiveness to
operator command, sets Kraft manipulator arms apart from all
others. In meeting the HROV challenge, Kraft will build
upon these field proven virtues, and deliver a manipulator
system equal to the task. HROV is scheduled to begin sea
trials by the end of June 2006.